I’ve added a new species to my list of woodies that readily colonize an open field. Persimmon, Diospyros virginiana, has aggressively infiltrated the field, growing with such vigor that it has produced fruit in just five years time. That fruit is full of large seeds ready to claim their place in the field.
Most of the woody plants were small and easy to handle. There were several dozen young Multiflora Rose plants, some with multiple stems radiating from a central root. The mower shortened the stems, but the plant still needs to be trimmed down in order for the herbicide spray to be effective.
By sliding my loppers in beneath the stems, I can cut the rose at ground level where the plant is concentrated into a single trunk. Glyphosate is easily applied to the single cut and will effectively kill the plant.
Yucca filamentosa is beginning to show some aggressive invasive tendencies. The basis for the name is easy to see from the fibrous filaments exposed atop the shredded leaves. These plants are obviously growing from seed, but Yucca plants have just a single pollination agent in the form of a Yucca Moth. Without the moth, the plant is not pollinated and no seed results. I have been looking for 25 years to see a Yucca Moth visiting the Yucca flowers and have yet to find one. Apparently I’ll have to try even harder.
At first glance the Yucca basal rosette appears to represent a single plant. Actually, the clump is composed of numerous plants and slowly spreads to occupy more and more space.
Each stump gets a little squirt of glyphosate. This is my first year treating Yucca stumps in this manner, so I’ll have to wait until next spring to see if the plant is completely killed.
More likely, the stump will sprout new stems at ground level. This Ash stump looks to have been cut off and left untreated when the field was mowed five years ago. The most effective way to eliminate this tree is to cut below the sprouts and apply herbicide.
I settled on November 1 as the beginning of my field mowing season because woody plant species seem particularly susceptible to a stump treatment of glyphosate at this time of year. This treated Ash will not be growing again.